Creepy, crawly, clever American Horror Story doesn’t have a problem garnering positive responses – Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk’s FX show has snapped up plenty of critical accolades (including thirty-four Emmy nominations over just two years in categories that run the gamut, from Outstanding Miniseries or Movie to Outstanding Main Title Design, winning four awards along the way) and posting ratings that are some of the network’s very best. It’s a bonafide hit that attracts both a dedicated fanbase and a wonderful string of actual talent. The show uses a nifty technique – call it a miniseries and change things up every season! – that guarantees that it will be at least different, if not totally reinvigorated, with every season.

And yet, knowing all of that, I’ve never been able to be interested in American Horror Story in the slightest. Call it fallout from my disdain for Glee, chalk it up to a first season plotline that sounded absolutely tired (a haunted house story? Please), blame it on a natural aversion to people in rubber suits, but I jumped off the AHS ship before that thing even left the dock and I haven’t looked back. At least until the series’ third season, Coven, started rolling out some of the most incredible, horrifying, gorgeous, and mind-bending commercials ever to play on a television network (yes, we can pause for a minute so that you AHS fans can berate me for not feeling the same way about the previous two seasons’ commercials).

The network has so far released thirteen amazing commercials for the show – brief bits of absolute madness that fully accomplish their job: I want to watch American Horror Story: Coven right now. I am anticipating it with extreme fervor. I have its premiere date written down in actual ink. But there’s one thing keeping my excitement just slightly at bay – there doesn’t seem to be much chance that the final product will be as good as these commercials, simply because the shorter the spot, the more intriguing they seem.

The longer form commercials, like “Initiation” and “WitchWalk,” and the more traditional sports, like “Burn,” aren’t nearly as effective as the quick, creepy slices. The bits that work, and work terrifyingly well, are commercials that rely much more on mood, tone, and feeling, over a sense of “plot” or actual structure – commercials like “Laveau,” “Detention,” “Coffin,” “Staircase,” “Slither,” and “Study Hall.” If it’s less than fifteen seconds, it’s solid – start introducing actual characters and potential plot points, and the shine is off. Perhaps even with my newfound commercial admiration, AHS will still never be the actual show for me.

Take a look at all of American Horror Story: Coven’s currently released commercials and spots below. What do you think?


“Pins & Needles”





Like this article? Join thousands of your fellow movie lovers who subscribe to The Weekly Edition from Film School Rejects. Our best articles, every week, right in your inbox!
Comment Policy: No hate speech allowed. If you must argue, please debate intelligently. Comments containing selected keywords or outbound links will be put into moderation to help prevent spam. Film School Rejects reserves the right to delete comments and ban anyone who doesn't follow the rules. We also reserve the right to modify any curse words in your comments and make you look like an idiot. Thank You!
Some movie websites serve the consumer. Some serve the industry. At Film School Rejects, we serve at the pleasure of the connoisseur. We provide the best reviews, interviews and features to millions of dedicated movie fans who know what they love and love what they know. Because we, like you, simply love the art of the moving picture.
Fantastic Fest 2014
6 Filmmaking Tips: James Gunn
Got a Tip? Send it here:
Neil Miller
Managing Editor:
Scott Beggs
Associate Editors:
Rob Hunter
Kate Erbland
Christopher Campbell
All Rights Reserved © 2006-2014 Reject Media, LLC | Privacy Policy | Design & Development by Face3